A folksinger distinguished by the power and clarity of her voice as well as the richness and intensity of her delivery, the late Odetta was virtually a living archive of American music. (In 1999 she celebrated her fiftieth year as a professional performer and musician!) By tirelessly researching, recording, and touring, she kept alive the legacy of early folk, spiritual and blues singers, from Bessie Smith to Leadbelly, as well as having a significant influence on innumerable contemporary songwriters and performers.
Whether standing in front of a symphony orchestra or alone with her guitar, Odetta was a commanding presence on stage. In the liner notes to "Odetta Sings the Blues," critic Adam Barnes described hers as "a large and significant voice that can swell with majesty, phrase delicately, dipping deep into the bottomless well of song."
Odetta's incredible talent and magnetism inspired artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Tracy Chapman and Joan Baez. We at Homespun feel privileged to have worked with Odetta and Ysaye Barnwell in creating this unique video.